Food & Nutrition

Food & Nutrition

The food you eat is an important part of your dialysis treatment. Since your kidneys are no longer filtering and removing waste products properly, you may need to limit how much you eat of certain foods. Or, you may need to eat more of certain foods to be well-nourished. Our team of Registered Dietitians is here to help you learn all about the foods that are right for you to help you feel your best.

What can I eat if I need dialysis?

Every person’s dietary needs are different. For people on dialysis, what they should or should not eat can vary based on their monthly lab results. Your DCL dietitian will meet with you at least one time each month to review your lab results. At that time, your dietitian will discuss things that are going well and some areas for improvement.

This is a perfect time for you to ask any questions you may have about your diet. The most common nutrition topics that your dietitian may discuss with you are:

  • Protein
  • Fluid
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus

So if something tastes good, I should spit it out, right?

No! We want you to continue to eat foods that taste good to you. But, you may need to work with your dietitian to change how much or how often you eat your favorite foods to fit them into your diet.

Do I have to start buying my groceries at specialty, “health food” stores?

Nope! You can find foods that are right for you at any grocery store across the country.

Can I still go out to eat if I need dialysis?

Absolutely! However, you may need to take more time to plan where you go and the foods you order to make sure they are still right for you.

How about alcohol? Can I have a drink once in a while?

That depends. First, check with your doctor to make sure it is okay for you to drink alcohol. If your doctor says it’s okay to have an occasional drink, make sure you count it towards your daily fluid allowance. Also, try to avoid high potassium drinks (Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers) and high phosphorus drinks (beer, drinks mixed with cola soda).